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Report on Shemaroo

Cable TV, broadband services impacted, as Cyclone Tauktae slams into west coast

Services were restored within 12 hours in most areas.

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KOLKATA: Cable TV services and broadband services were impacted across various places in Maharashtra and Gujarat, as Cyclone Tauktae left a trail of destruction along the west coast. Many users took to Twitter complaining about the long hours of network outage. However, both video and broadband services were restored within 12 hours, say cable operators

NXTDigital MD & CEO Vynsley Fernandes said there were evident impacts on services especially in areas with overhead fibres and overhead wires. But timely weather warnings helped in making arrangements in advance. MSOs had placed teams in strategic locations to address issues and respond. “In most places, the network was restored in the shortest possible time. It did not take more than 12-14 hours,” Fernandes said.

“There were damages but we were able to mobilise the staff and the workforce immediately. Major lines both for cable and broadband were down,” said Maharashtra Cable Operators Foundation (MCOF) president Arvind Prabhu. “There may still be some minor problems in certain households and we are in the process of addressing those as well.”

The Konkan region was among the most-affected, as it witnessed the devastating impact of one of the most intense storms to hit the west coast. “Some independent control rooms reported problems in the Konkan region. In Mumbai city, there were issues mostly with fibre cables and overhead cables,” Prabhu added.

GTPL Hathway cable TV head and chief strategy officer Piyush Pankaj said, the services were disrupted for around 3-4 hours in most areas. “But we were well-prepared this time. Even materials like wires were ready in advance to immediately address damages like a wire being cut or washed up,” he added.

According to MSOs, cable TV was less impacted than broadband services as the latter not only faced connectivity issues but stress on speed as well. The impact on speed persisted for a longer time.

Most importantly, the operators say, they learnt from two cyclones of 2020- Nisarg and Amphan after which they incurred huge infrastructural losses, especially in West Bengal. The staff had to invest more than a month to normalise the connections with damage of lakhs of set-top boxes, fibres of few crores.

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